Standing near the door, Mr. Munn watched the Senator
detach himself from the group of men who remained and
start to leave. The Senator looked more like himself now,
but still greyish and strained, as though from loss of sleep.
As he turned to go, Mr. Christian barred his way. With the
back of his hand, Mr. Christian tapped him solidly on the
chest, and said, "Well, Ed, no hard feelings, huh?"
" No, Bill," the Senator answered.
Mr. Christian took a sharp look at his face. "Fine," he
said, and stepped aside.
The Senator walked slowly to the door. He hesitated a
moment beside Mr. Munn, and then reached out to touch
him on the shoulder. " Well, boy/' he said in a low voice,
" we did the best we could." Without waiting for a reply,
he passed quickly out of the door and down the dark stairs.
At the next meeting Senator Tolliver did not appear. The
last members to enter the long, dingy room looked in-
quiringly at the Senator's accustomed chair, empty now, and
then at the faces of the men already assembled. " I reckon
he's late this morning," Mr. Dicey Short remarked.
Mr. Sills had been staring at a long beam of sunlight that
fell athwart the floor beside the table. The motes that
flickered brightly in it had held all his attention, apparently;
but at Mr. Dicey Short's remark he turned slowly to the
group, readjusted his spectacles, through which his colourless
eyes peered distantly, and said: " No, not late. Not coming
Is my guess/'
"Not coming?" Captain Todd demanded with a sudden
and unaccustomed sharpness,
" Not now, and not later," Mr. Sills replied, and fumbled
10 his coat pocket to produce a long envelope, "if this is
what I think it is." He turned it carefully in his hands, while
e?ery man there leaned forward a little, except Captain Todd,
and feed his eyes upon the object. " I got it this morning,"
Mr, Silk said. " Not in the mail. A nigger man was standing
down here at the door of the bank, and he gave it to me